Follow along as Laura from @Garden Answer takes care of her new fiddle leaf fig cuttings with the help of Espoma!
Tomatoes flourish in full sun and warm temperatures.
However, if you’re in short supply of sunny or warm days, havoc can begin taking over your tomatoes. Dreary-looking young tomato plants WILL flourish, once the weather changes, but it’s important to do what you can to make sure they have some extra care and are fed in the meantime.
Give Tomatoes a Lift
If you’re waiting on the weather to improve, the most important thing you can do for your tomato plants is give them some support. Tomato plants often bend, lean or even break as fruit matures. To help your plant from becoming damaged, get to know the tomato you’re planting. Indeterminate plants benefit from some support, while determinate tomatoes may be just fine on their own.
Use tomato cages, wood or metal stakes, or a trellis to give plants extra support. It’s really a matter of preference which one you choose.
The most important thing is that you’re keeping plants off the ground to avoid pests, diseases and rot. Learn more about supporting your tomatoes here.
The trick is to feed tomatoes monthly with an organic, nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. Tomatoes have big appetites, so their all-you-can-eat buffet runs out quick. Feed single in-ground plants with 3 tablespoons of Tomato-tone monthly. For rows of plants, spread 1 cup on each side per 5 feet. Feed potted plants 1.5 teaspoons per 4” pot diameter.
Pests got plants down?
When it comes to insects in your garden, don’t be quick to kill. Not all insects are enemies. In fact, most insects are essential players in your organic garden’s success. Others are neutral and don’t cause any harm. Yet some will ruin your harvest.
Spotting the difference between the good and the bad can be tricky, so keep your eyes peeled. Hornworms, fruitworms, aphids and beet armyworms can all spell disaster for your crop. Identify if these bad bugs are the cause of your problems here.
Less is More
Pruning tomatoes is a controversial practice that many expert gardeners say is unnecessary. There are times when pruning can be beneficial — fewer leaves mean air circulates better and leaves dry quicker, reducing the risk of disease.
Plants with less density direct energy toward producing bigger fruit. Plus, tomatoes often ripen earlier after a good pruning, allowing you to enjoy your harvest sooner.
Vertically grown tomatoes are ultimately easier to prune because unnecessary suckers and leaves are more visible. Though pruned plants may be better protected from insects and disease, staked and pruned plants may be more susceptible to blossom end rot and sunscald. Get the scoop on pruning tomato plants here.
If a dark, water soaked spot has formed on your tomato you may have blossom-end rot. This problem is likely caused by an imbalance of calcium in the plant. Large spots will dry out and appear to be leathery. Maintain consistent soil moisture throughout the growing season. When the weather is dry, water at least twice a week and moisten the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. Find out more about stopping blossom end rot here.
See how Laura from Garden Answer grows tomatoes upside down!
Products for healthy tomatoes
Houseplants aren’t limited to staying indoors year-round, in fact they love the feeling of sunshine on their leaves and breathing in some fresh air. However, when you take them outdoors, you need to do so appropriately, otherwise they may go into shock.
Acclimating houseplants to outdoor conditions will reduce shock and give them the best chance of thriving. Wait about four weeks from the last frost before you start to acclimate them to the outdoors.
Tips for Taking Plants
Outdoors: Hang in the Shade
While this might seem counter-intuitive, direct sunlight can do more harm than good at first. Since the sunlight is filtered through windows inside, your houseplants aren’t used to the harshness of direct sun. Find shaded areas on your patio or under a tree for a few hours each day. Gradually move houseplants to an area with a little more sunshine daily, until they can be outside all day.
It will only take a few weeks to adapt to the light and then plants can stay outside until the end of the summer. Once they have adapted to the sunshine, be sure to place them in light they will enjoy. Similar to being indoors, don’t place plants in direct light, if they prefer indirect.
Clip and Snip
Trim away any foliage that might have been damaged from the move or from being inside. Remove any brown tips and inspect them for signs of pests or diseases.
Top it Off:
Revitalize soil by working in fresh Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to each container. This will help to hold moisture and nutrients around plants’ roots.
Give Them a Drink
Power up plants by giving them a big drink of water enhanced with nutrients. Make it easy on yourself and use Espoma’s Grow! Liquid plant food.
Dump the water
Get in the habit of dumping the excess water after watering to avoid mosquitos and other unwanted pests..
Learn more about houseplant care with Garden Answer.
Harvest is upon us! Those big juicy tomatoes are taunting you on the vine, waiting for you to enjoy!
Garden tomatoes are jam packed with flavor compared to grocery store tomatoes. Make sure to pick them when they are just right to enjoy with your favorite tomato recipes. These harvesting tips will ensure you get a flavorful tomato every time.
Harvesting tomatoes isn’t complicated; it’s just all about timing!
Leave your tomatoes on the vine as long as possible. Wait until your tomatoes have completely changed color. If it is red (or yellow) on one side and green on the other, your tomato isn’t ready yet. It needs to have an even color all around it. If your tomatoes have started changing color and are starting to crack, bring them inside and place them in a paper bag to finish ripening.
Trust your gut. If you think the tomato is ready for harvest, pick it! You can also do the squeeze test. Gently squeeze your tomatoes, tomatoes ready for harvest will be firm, but not too hard.
After you’ve harvested your tomatoes, try one of our favorite recipes!